Indian chess legend Vishwanathan Anand has brained out for himself, the prestigious World Rapid Chess Championship in Riyadh on Thursday – making it his first rapid world title since 2003.
At the age of 48, Vishwanathan Anand beat Vladimir Fedoseev during the finale of World Rapid Chess Championship 2017, held in Riyadh. With this play-off win in the brainy game, the Indian chess champion won the rapid world chess title in over 15 years. Anand has won a number of rapid titles, but lately, he had become the receiving end of criticism after a string of sub-par chess performances – so much that Anand himself started to believe that he might be in a downward spiral. Anand said that went to participate in the World Rapid Chess Championship just to have a good game and he had not imagined that he would win this title.
But Anand’s performance at Riyadh hit back in style and first, he stunned world chess champion Magnus Carlsen and Alexander Grischuk. Then, he landed in a three-way tie with Russians Vladimir Fedoseev and Ian Nepomniachtchi at 10.5 points from a possible 15. However, in the double round finale, the Chennai chess ace defeated Fedoseev with a 2-0 in a two-game tie-break to win the trophy. With this, the former World No 1 chess champion – Vishwanathan Anand, who had lost his title to Carlsen in 2013, reclaimed the World Rapid Chess Championship title, which will help him in regaining confidence and optimism.
After winning, Anand said, “I have won many, many rapid titles but recently I had a feeling it was slipping away and honestly I came here just hoping for a good performance. I was not even thinking I could win and it’s just a pleasant surprise.” The win will certainly help Anand in regaining the confidence in himself and with optimistic approach, the chess champion is now preparing for the World Blitz Championship where he hopes even bigger wins for India.